Carolyn Braaksma has created large-scale public art commissions for more than 20 years. She has completed projects for municipalities and local governments, DOTs, educational institutions, and other agencies. With a strong design sensibility, her award-winning work often incorporates site-specific imagery and local references to create a special sense of place.
After graduating from Metropolitan State College in Denver with a degree in fine art, Braaksma attended welding school and became a welder for an iron erection crew. As a welder on many local construction projects, Braaksma realized the potential of concrete as an art material. While doing graduate work at the University of Minnesota, she found that public art offered a special opportunity to integrate art, familiar construction materials, and sites with high visibility and public appeal. Braaksma strives to incorporate specific ideas of history, culture, and community and to translate these ideas into an accessible visual language.
As a well-established artist, Braaksma has completed public art commissions throughout the United States. Her company, Braaksma Design Inc., specializes in integrating public art into large-scale infrastructure projects, using familiar materials and stretching construction processes that are fundamental to the projects. Her projects have included enhancements for highway infrastructure projects as well as works that incorporate outdoor paving, seating, wall enhancements and landscaping. In addition to working with concrete and steel construction elements, she has produced designs for terrazzo and stone floors.